September is Baby Safety Month, and Ready, Set, Food! is committed to keeping your baby safe. Most babies won’t have an allergic reaction to Ready, Set, Food!, and the few reactions that do occur tend to be mild or moderate. In fact, studies have shown that around 4-6 months of age is the safest time to introduce allergy-causing foods, such as peanut, egg, and milk. Learn why Ready, Set, Food! is a safe way to introduce your baby to common allergy-causing foods.
Many parents wonder about the safety of Ready, Set, Food!, and of introducing babies to peanut, egg, and milk in general.
Will your baby have an allergic reaction to Ready, Set, Food!? In most cases, the answer is no. Most babies don’t have an allergic reaction to Ready, Set, Food!, and the few reactions that do occur tend to be mild or moderate.
Introducing your baby to common allergy-causing foods before they turn one is crucial. In fact, studies have shown that around 4-6 months of age is also the safest time to introduce peanut, egg, and milk, the three foods that Ready, Set, Food! introduces to your baby. When it comes to introducing these foods, earlier is safer. Today, we’ll break down what landmark research shows us about the safety of early allergen introduction.
4-6 Months of Age: The Safest Time to Introduce Allergy-Causing Foods
“Early allergen introduction is inherently safe. Research has shown that there have been no fatal food allergic reactions in any babies under 1 year of age. In addition, in three landmark clinical trials with over 2,000 babies, there were no severe reactions or hospitalizations.” - Dr. Katie Marks-Cogan, Board-Certified Allergist and Chief Allergist for Ready, Set, Food!
New Research: Earlier Is Safer For Introducing Allergy-Causing Foods
New research from Dr. Jonathan Spergel (Head of Allergy at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and one of our medical advisors) and others shows that before your baby turns 1 is the safest time to feed them allergens like peanut, egg, and milk.
This is because severe food allergic reactions are least common in babies under the age of 1, and the likelihood of a severe reaction increases as your child gets older. So, if your baby does have a food allergic reaction, it’s much more likely to be mild.
Dr. Spergel and others examined food allergic reactions in age groups ranging from infants to teens, to determine how common severe allergic reactions were for each age group.
- Severe allergic reactions either required an Epi-pen, or involved significant cardiovascular or lower respiratory symptoms.
The researchers found that:
Severe allergic reactions are the least common in infants under age 1.
- The older a child was, the greater the chances that they would develop a severe reaction.
- Food allergies did not cause any deaths in infants under the age of 1.
- Only 3% of allergic reactions in infants resulted in cardiovascular or lower respiratory symptoms---significantly fewer severe reactions than in older children.
- Also, infants and toddlers had fewer reactions that required an Epi-pen, compared to older age groups.
Three Landmark Clinical Studies: No Severe Reactions In Over 2,000 Babies
The landmark LEAP, EAT and PETIT studies have shown that introducing your baby to common food allergens (peanut, egg, and milk) is important.
Collectively, these three studies involved over 2,000 babies between the ages of 4-11 months. Across all three of the studies, none of the babies developed a severe reaction---further evidence that it’s safe to feed your baby peanut, egg, and milk.
The studies also showed that earlier is better when it comes to introducing allergy-causing foods. Based on their results, we now know that around 4-6 months of age, babies enter a critical window of time where introducing foods like peanut, egg, and milk helps them build up a tolerance.
Although the babies in the studies ranged in age from 4-11 months, some older enrolled babies had to be excluded from the studies because they had likely already developed a food allergy.
- Around 9% of the babies enrolled in the LEAP study had to be excluded from the study because they likely already had a peanut allergy before the study began. (So, they weren’t introduced to peanut early enough to build up a tolerance). This further emphasizes the need to start allergen introduction early---the earlier the better.
Based on the studies, 4-6 months of age is the safest time to introduce allergy-causing foods.
Introducing Allergens Safely with Ready, Set, Food!
Ready, Set, Food! is safe because we introduce very small amounts of cow's milk, egg, and peanut, and gradually build up your baby's tolerance. We follow a similar process as was used in the three landmark clinical trials where over 2,000 babies participated and no severe reactions occurred. These same landmark clinical trials (LEAP, EAT and PETIT) heavily influenced the new medical guidelines and their recommendations for early allergen introduction. (Learn more about how we maximize safety here.)
Although early allergen introduction is safe, a small percentage of babies (less than 1%) are expected to have an allergic reaction to Ready, Set, Food!. Still, when reactions have occurred, they tend to be mild or moderate, and have not been severe. This is consistent with research findings that show under age 1 is the safest time to introduce allergy-causing foods.
As the recent research we covered above has shown:
- There has never been a fatal food allergic reaction in a baby under 1 year of age.
- In the 3 clinical trials involving over 2,000 babies, there were no severe reactions or hospitalizations.
- Allergic reactions in babies are less severe than in older children and in adults.
- Under the age of 1 is the safest time to introduce allergy-causing foods, as reactions are mildest at this age.
- The longer you wait to introduce allergy-causing foods, the worse a potential allergic reaction could get.
All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.